The Southwest Utah Health Department has received about 2,000 doses of the H1N1 nasal spray vaccine, called FluMist, said spokesman David Heaton.
The department is responsible for about 225,000 Utahns in Garfield, Iron, Kane, Washington and Beaver counties. Its vaccine will be delivered to its main office in St. George, and then distributed to hospitals in the district to vaccinate health care providers.
Pregnant women will not be given FluMist because it is not approved for their use. FluMist can be given to anyone who is age 2 to 49 and healthy, not pregnant, and whose immune system is not compromised.
Southwest Health will try to recoup costs from insurance companies for those who have insurance, but if that is not possible, there will be no charge for the vaccine.
When injectable doses of the vaccine arrive in a second shipment, the first on the department's list to receive it will be pregnant women. Other priority groups will be: care givers to those younger than six months; people ages six months to 24 years old; and then those ages 24 to 65 years old with chronic health problems.
Once those groups are taken care of, it will be available to the general public.
Heaton said the department will work with approved vaccine providers for children in its area to help share the burden of vaccinating people.
Learn more at www.swuhealth.org/index.html.